Olives : nutrition, shocking medical use & 5 tips

olive oil 968657 1920

Olives Nutritional Profile

• Energy value (calories per serving): Moderate
• Protein: Low
• Fat: High
• Saturated fat: Low
• Cholesterol: None
• Carbohydrates: Low
• Fiber: High
• Sodium: High
• Major vitamin contribution: Vitamin E
• Major mineral contribution: Iron

How Many Nutrients in This Food

• Olives come in two basic colors, green and black. The green are picked before they ripen; the black are picked ripe and dipped in an iron solution to stabilize their color.

• After harvesting, all green olives and most black olives are soaked in a mild solution of sodium hydroxide, then washed thoroughly in water to rid them of oleuropein, a naturally bitter carbohydrate. (The exceptions are salt-cured black Greek and Italian olives, which retain their oleuropein.)

• Green olives are sometimes fermented before being packed in brine; black olives aren’t, which is why they taste milder. Greek and Italian olives are black olives that taste sharp because they have not been soaked to remove their oleuropein.

• They are salt-cured and sold in bulk, covered with olive oil that protects them from oxygen and helps preserve them. Olives are a high-fiber, high-fat food that derives 69 to 78 percent of its calories from olive oil, a predominantly unsaturated fat.

• A serving of five olives, green or black, weighing 19 to 22 g, has 2 g fat (0.3 g saturated fat). A serving of ripe olives has one gram of dietary fiber; green olives, have less than one gram.

How To Serev Nutritious This Food

• Plain olives have less sodium than salt-cured olives.

Diets That May Restrict or Exclude This Food

• Low-fat diet
• Low-sodium diet

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How To Buying This Food

Look for:

Tightly sealed bottles or cans. Small olives are less woody than large ones. Green olives have a more astringent taste than black olives. Greek olives, available only in bulk,
have a sharp, spicy taste. Pitted olives are the best buy if you want to slice the olives into a salad, otherwise, olives with pits are less expensive and a better buy.

How To Storing This Food

• Store unopened cans or jars of olives on a cool, dry shelf. Once you open a can of olives, take the olives out of the can and refrigerate them in a clean glass container.

How To Preparing This Food

• Olives will taste less salty if you bathe them in olive oil before you use them.

How Other Kinds of Processing Affect This Food


Olives are pressed to produce olive oil, one of the few vegetable oils with a distinctive flavor and aroma. Olive oils are graded according to the pressing from which they come and the amount of free oleic acid they contain. (The presence of free oleic acid means that the oil’s molecules have begun to break down.)

• Virgin olive oil is oil from the first pressing of the olives. Pure olive oil is a mixture of oils from the first and second pressings. Virgin olive oil may contain as much as 4 percent free oleic acid. Fine virgin olive oil may contain 3 percent free oleic acid, superfine virgin olive oil 1.5 percent, and extra virgin olive oil 1 percent.

• Olive oil is a more concentrated source of alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E) than olives. Because it is high in unsaturated fatty acids, whose carbon atoms have double bonds that can make room for more oxygen atoms, olive oil oxidizes and turns rancid fairly quickly if exposed to heat or light. To protect the oil, store it in a cool, dark cabinet.

olive oil

Amazing Medical Uses and/or Benefits

Lower levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDLs).

Olive oil is 95 percent monounsaturated fatty acids, fats that reduce blood levels of LDLs that carry cholesterol into your arteries.


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